What is Zirconia?
Zirconia is a synthesized mineral that most people are familiar with because it is used in jewelry making. Zirconia can be used in ceramic glazes and to substitute for diamonds.
Some dental offices have been using zirconia to craft dental restorations for several decades. Their reflective properties make them closely mimic the appearance of healthy tooth structure. In addition to mimicking the appearance of healthy teeth the way that ceramic restorations can, the zirconia material also offers the benefits of metal.
Restorations crafted from metals have minimal wear against healthy tooth structures, and they are more durable than porcelain. Zirconia offers the best of both worlds. In addition to using Zirconia for replacement teeth and zirconia crowns, we can now use it for dental implant posts.
Why Choose a Zirconia Implant?
There are many benefits to using Zirconia to craft your dental implants versus the more traditional titanium, including:
- Natural appearance – For many people, the appearance of the implants never becomes an issue, but for people who have lightly colored or thin gum tissue, the implant post may be visible within the smile line. To avoid the darkened appearance of the gum tissue that can occur, these natural-looking implant posts may be preferable.
- Decreased risk of implant failure – Because the Zirconia is more biocompatible, the body is less likely to reject the implant post. You are also less likely to experience allergic response or infection after the placement of your zirconia implant.
- Reduced healing time – The unique structure and more biocompatible material reduces healing time. In many cases, we’re even able to offer a same-day temporary restoration immediately following the placement of your Zirconia implants.
- Improved strength – Titanium posts are strong, but most manufacturers only offer titanium implant posts with abutments that attach to the replacement teeth. In many cases, the natural appearance of Zirconia implants allows them to be manufactured in one piece, which improves the overall strength of the implant post.
What is the Zirconia Implant Process?
Like other dental implants, Zirconia implant tooth replacement is a multistep process. We begin by performing any necessary preparations like tooth extractions and bone or soft tissue grafting.
Then we place the implant posts. Because of the natural-looking material, many Zirconia implant posts are crafted in one piece that includes the post and abutment.
Once these implants are in place, we will wait a month or more for the implant to fuse with the bone and gum tissue. If necessary, we’ll place an abutment before we can finalize the treatment plan. If the Zirconia implant is crafted in one piece, we’ll design, craft, and place your replacement tooth or teeth.